Sounders steal playoff match versus FC Dallas 2-1

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UntitledOn Sunday, the Seattle Sounders FC take the first game of the Western Conference Semi-final versus FC Dallas 2-1.   Seattle is now unbeaten in 11 consecutive matches across all competitions (7-0-4). The Rave Green ended the regular season with a stretch of eight unbeaten matches on four wins and four draws – the second-longest mark in club history.

1st half

FC Dallas came out of the gates gunning for the Sounders.  Fabian Castillo netted in the first half for Dallas, giving them a potentially vital away goal needed in the home-at-home series.   In that 18th minute, Mauro Diaz touched a pass to Castillo, en-route to the goal.  Castillo took the assist past Sounder Defender Zach Scott to gun a shot past Goalie Stefan Frei.

Despite several Sounders first-half chances – including a narrow half-volley miss from Erik Friberg in the 33rd minute and a loose ball shot attempt from Clint Dempsey in the 41st  minute – the Rave Green went into the break without a goal.

2nd half

Seattle finally broke through with an equalizer in the 67th minute, as Austrian winger Andreas Ivanschitz picked-up the ball at midfield, drove through Dallas’ defense and buried a shot at Jesse Gonzalez’s far post. Leveling the score at 1-1, Ivanschitz becomes the fifth player in club history with at least one career goal and one career assist in the postseason, joining Brad Evans, Zach Scott, DeAndre Yedlin and Clint Dempsey. The midfielder has recorded a goal or an assist in three of his past four appearances across all competitions.

Even better fortune found the Sounders as in the 86th minute, ex-UW Husky Christian Roldan was fouled by Dallas.   This set Seattle up with a free kick from just outside the Dallas box,Clint Dempsey stepped up and buried a perfectly taken free kick by Gonzalez, giving the Sounders a lead they would not relinquish.

SSU Man of the Match

For the second game in a row, Midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz wins the Man of the Match.  When the game was at the darkest, Ivanschitz turned the fortunes of the Rave Green with a single handed effort to equalize the game.

SSU’s Take

The Sounders dropped behind early which was of great concern to each and every Rave Green fan.  In the era of the MLS concerning itself with “away goals” counting more in the playoffs, the Sounders dug quite the hole from themselves.

It would be the August pickups of Nelson Valdez and Andreas Ivanschitz that would save this season.  The instant that Valdez replaced Marco Pappa the tone of the game turned around. I was a big fan of bringing in the forward and moving Clint Dempsey to more of a midfield position. The change of positions seemed to be something that FC Dallas could not adjust for.

Next Side Up

Saturday, November 7, 2015  Frisco, TX MLS Quarterfinals

4:30 PM pst  Fox Sports 1

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